How I Paid Off $5,000 of Debt in 2 Months

As of this weekend, I have officially paid off $5,000 of my original debt. I’m not quite on track with my aggressive debt repayment plan but I’m still ecstatic about the progress. Now, I know I’ve written posts about how I have been socializing on a budget and staying focused on school and doing homework, but I thought I would share some of other ways I have been able to stay committed to my debt repayment plan.

  • I have not shopped. Like, at all. I’m looking around my room right now, to make sure I’m not lying. No new clothes, no new shoes. Oh, I bought Sims 3. But that’s it.
  • When I go grocery shopping, I don’t always buy everything that I want to. Instead, I plan out healthy / budget friendly meals and snacks. (No expensive cheeses for me!)
  • I haven’t gotten my hair cut or dyed since February. Goodness knows I need a haircut though! But I can’t budget one in yet. Maybe (hopefully) in September.
  • I have only drank alcohol a few times, all of which were at home or at a friends’ house. I’m missing summer patio season :( but I have homework to do anyway.
  • I haven’t gone on any vacations. Not even camping! (And I want to so badly!) I just know that one or two nights away will cost me $100-200 and I can’t afford that yet.
  • I didn’t adopt the puppy I fell in love with. I know I would have given her a wonderful home but, the fact is, I cannot afford a pet right now.
  • Finally, I haven’t bought concert tickets in a really long time, and that part kinda sucks! Victoria hosts a music festival, Rifflandia, every summer and a ton of my friends are going, but I just can’t afford a $300-400 weekend. Not this year.

Typing all of this out, it sounds like my life sucks! But the thing is, I’m not going to be broke forever. I still make lots of time to see my friends and have cheap fun. I’m just at a place where I’m so focused on getting out of debt that it doesn’t bother me when my friends go out without me.

Unfortunately, I’ll only be paying off another $300-400 this month, as I have a tuition payment to make by September 1st. But I’m happy to report that I only owe my parents $752 and after that I can finally focus on paying off my credit cards! Feelin’ pretty darn good, and I can’t wait to be in the -$22,000’s!

    • Totally worth it. I didn’t even make ‘no shopping’ a goal… I just steer clear of malls, shopping w/ friends, etc.

  • This is honestly a huge accomplishment. Have you thought about living with your parents until the debt is paid completely off, or do they want to kick you out by then? If I had the option, I totally would take advantage of living rent free so that I could get rid of debt.

    • Oh, I’ve thought about it! But they don’t know about my credit card debt… instead, I will probably look for a higher paying job or consider taking on a part-time job for extra income. (Think Starbucks would hire me? haha)

  • Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment.

    Your list sounds a lot like what we’ve been doing lately, too, in order to keep paying off our debt and start saving up for retirement and stuff. It’s not a bad life! I mean, sometimes it gets a little tough to not just go places and buy things like our friends, but like you said, we won’t always be broke (hopefully!), and then we’ll have money for more expensive fun stuff. Cheap fun can still be a lot of fun :)

    • Totally. Some days I just want to go buy the camera I really want or fly to Nicaragua for a vacay with friends… but that’ll happen, eventually. And this is how I’m going to get there. Thanks for your comment :)

  • You have made quite a bit of progress due to some personal sacrifices and should be commended.

    I had to chuckle about the puppies. We had a litter of 4 cockapoos last night. It was our first experience so was quite interesting to say the least.

  • Congrats lady!! That’s so exciting – and inspiring – to hear. I just started a new job (after a year of funemployment) and am hoping to clear my credit cards within 4-6 months. Right now, my student loan is frozen for 6 more months so I hope to have my high-interest cards taken care of before I have to start making those payments again – the CC interest is KILLING me! And reading your blog and seeing how you’re doing it is honestly motivating me to buckle down and do the same.

    • Totally work on your credit cards, first! You can do it, Lauren! Just keep telling yourself that it’s not worth paying interest on whatever you put on your card in the first place.

  • Kudos to you for keeping in line with your goals despite the many temptations lurking in the summer months! I did the same when I was paying off my mountain of credit card debt, and I know how hard it is to resist the spending impulses. Keep up the great work!

  • Wowza. Thats really amazing that you were able to pay off so much. I also agree w/ Matt. Is it possible to perhaps live with your parents just a tad bit longer? I would totally live with my dad, even though he would probably drive me crazy.

    • I wish, girl! I’m sure I can stay ’til Nov or Dec 1… but that’ll be it. We’ll see what I can do ;)

  • Awesome job. I wish I was single plowing through my debt, oh wait the debt came with the husband and our dumb choices after that.

    Keep up the amazing work.

  • I seriously thought I’d replied here already? Aw well, just wanted to say amazing job, keep it up!

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  • You inspire the crap out of me! So much so that I have set my goals to become debt free in few months and I plan on blogging about the journey.

  • I’m glad I stumbled across this. I’m about to start my $5,000 get out of debt plan. You’re right, it sucks, but one just has to stop buying. Period. Budget and stick to it. Alcohol, trips, going out to eat, and shopping are the daggers. Be strong! Thanks for the motivation.

  • You’ve inspired me so much! I know this is an old post of yours..but I’ve recently come across your blog and believe me..I’ve been browsing quite alot of budget blogs since I’ve acquired my debts in 2011. (More than 100 blogs) ..never have I ever been able to find one quite as good as yours.. and I am like you as well- I’ve struggled with credit card debt (that went away but came back) and now have personal loans as well that has cost up to $10,000 of debt. ): This economy makes it so hard to find a job- I’ve recently started working however I work a max of 50 hours per 2 weeks (its a struggle trying to find more hours) and I make around 550 biweekly. Is there any tips you would suggest on someone with a much smaller income but possibly being able to pay off this debt in a few months as well?
    And congrats on being debt free and finally having savings! Its a huge accomplishment. :)

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